Paris (AFP)

Nantes was no match for Aalborg, weakened by the absence of several injured key players, and lost 32 to 24, Wednesday night in Denmark, his third defeat in four days of the Handball Champions League.

Alberto Entrerrios' players started their 2020/21 Champions League with the three strongest teams in their group, with home losses to Hungarians Veszprem (28-24) and Spaniards Barça (35-27 ) and a prestigious success in northern Germany in Kiel (35-27).

On Wednesday, they traveled to Aalborg, unbeaten in three Champions League matches (wins against Celje, Zaporozhe and Zagreb).

The "H" traveled to Denmark without their two center-halves Aymeric Minne and Rok Ovnicek.

With a team that had four players aged 20 or less, including two from the training center, Nantes resisted a quarter of an hour of play (led 7-6, 14th), before completely cracking and lagging behind by seven goals at half-time (16-9).

At no time in the second half, they could not get closer to Aalborg, colliding with the impassable Swedish goalkeeper Mikael Aggefors (23 saves out of 48 Nantes attempts).

It is the young Thibaud Briet (20 years old, 4 goals), Baptiste Damatrin (20 years old, 4 goals) and Mattéo Fadhuile (18 years old, 5 goals), who have shown themselves to be the safest in attack, while the Spanish international wingers David Balaguer (2 of 8) and Valero Rivera (0 of 3, including two missed penalties) suffered.

With three defeats in four meetings, Nantes is obliged to win its next Champions League matches, to relaunch in this group stage: next week in Zaporozhe (Ukraine) and in two weeks with the reception of Zagreb.

To compete in the rest of the competition, the "H" must take one of the first six places in its group (out of eight participating teams) at the end of the 14 matches in the group stage.

The first two teams qualify for the quarterfinals, the other four must go through a barrage of access to the quarterfinals.

© 2020 AFP